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HomeEmploymentSecond-guessing the recommendation columns: Is that this being pregnant discrimination?: Employment &...

Second-guessing the recommendation columns: Is that this being pregnant discrimination?: Employment & Labor Insider


The next state of affairs was in this morning’s Miss Manners column. You might want a paid subscription to entry, however this is the gist:

Worker is 20-something, fortunately married, and simply discovered that she is anticipating her first little one. She and her husband are delighted.

Worker’s boss has rotten grownup youngsters who’re about the identical age as Worker.

Boss repeatedly complains to Worker about her personal rotten youngsters and tells Worker how fortunate she is to be childless, and that she ought to by no means have youngsters.

Worker wrote to Miss Manners asking how a lot discover she wants to offer of her being pregnant and impending maternity depart, and the way greatest to announce the fantastic/horrible information to her Boss.

Miss Manners’ response was OK. She suggested to offer sufficient discover in order that the Worker wasn’t leaving the employer within the lurch, and possibly to do it earlier than she began displaying. The one half I disagreed with was her recommendation to say to Boss, “I am sorry to disappoint you, however . . .” I agreed with lots of the commenters who mentioned that Worker owed Boss no apologies for her being pregnant. One commenter famous that “I am sorry to disappoint you” is often meant sarcastically, a superb level. (Will depend on the tone during which it’s mentioned.)

However a number of commenters mentioned that Worker ought to go on to Human Assets and report Boss — earlier than we have even had an opportunity to see Boss’s response to the information of an precise being pregnant. Some mentioned that Boss’s admonitions to not get pregnant have been illegal.

Do you agree? Based mostly on the above, I do not — at the very least, not but.

Usually, after all, advising an worker to not get pregnant is discriminatory. On the very least, it will be proof of a discriminatory motive if there have been any problem with the pregnant worker’s efficiency or alternatives for development, being pregnant lodging, or maternity depart.

However this Boss is outwardly fighting rotten youngsters of her personal, so the context of her recommendation to not get pregnant, for my part, may be very totally different from job-related recommendation to not get pregnant.

Assuming Boss’s response to the information of the being pregnant is one thing like, “You might be in for it now — simply you wait till that cute little bundle of pleasure turns into Devil at age 13!,” I do not suppose the Boss is being discriminatory. She’s simply sharing her unhealthy expertise together with her personal youngsters.

Is it essentially the most tactful option to take care of an worker’s glad information of a brand new child? No. As I’ve blogged earlier than, the one good response from an employer to information of an worker’s being pregnant is, “Congratulations! I’m so glad for you!” Additionally, Worker advised Miss Manners that Boss brings up her rotten youngsters on a regular basis. That may get outdated, particularly when one is ecstatic concerning the coming delivery of a child.

But when I have been a choose, and if this case got here earlier than me, with no proof of precise pregnancy-related discrimination and even unfairness, I would throw the case out. There’s a distinction between saying “do not get pregnant as a result of your youngsters will probably be rotten and ungrateful, and you will remorse it for the remainder of your life,” and saying “do not get pregnant as a result of it imply the tip of your profession with this firm (or phrases to that impact), and you will remorse it for the remainder of your life.”

All that mentioned, I’d advise Boss to tone it down and share her frustrations exterior of labor. 

Picture Credit score: From flickr, Inventive Commons license, by Ray McLean.

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